Local News

Holiday Kettle Donations In The Red

Posted December 12, 2001

— Competition for donations is having an impact on one of the most recognizable Christmas charities.

The Raleigh chapter of

The Salvation Army

said it is experiencing a 15 percent decline in donations compared to a year ago, but a 25 percent increase in people seeking help.

In Fayetteville, The Salvation Army Kettle Campaign reports a decline of $25,000 compared to last year.

Some blame a downturn in the economy, but Salvation Army leaders said that there is another reason why donations are down.

Some nonprofits have taken retail chains to court, demanding equal time in front of the stores. As a result, the red kettles are out for fewer days and hours.

"What has happened is that some companies and different groups, who want to solicit like we do, are using legal terms to say why they should be here," said Capt. Ethan Frizzell of the Salvation Army.

Willie Rhodes and his family showed up at the Salvation Army's homeless shelter in the spring. Thanks to the organization, his family is now in transitional housing, looking forward to better times.

"Dishes, clothes, some food -- they helped us a lot," he said.

A report issued Wednesday confirmed that charitable giving in North Carolina is down.

The report issued by the Secretary of State's office showed an 11.8 percent drop in money raised by charities that are required to file with the state.

Those include organizations that use professional fund-raising firms or raise more than $25,000, but are not exempt for religious or other reasons.

The Secretary of State's office released the following information regarding charitable giving:

  • Donations collected by groups required to list with the state fell to $66.6 million. That is an $8.9 million decrease from last year.
  • Charities netted slightly more than 40 percent of the money collected by professional fund raisers, compared to nearly 53 percent last year.
  • Polls released in recent months indicate that as many of half of the respondents say they are reducing their charitable giving because of the recession. One poll indicated that 26 percent of those who gave to help victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks planned to cut back on other giving.

    The report also stated that professional fund-raisers are keeping a higher percentage of the money raised.

    The report and information on charitable giving is

    available online

    .

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